Calibres de France

Coulevrines moyennes ("Middle culverins"), French work at the time of Francis I, 1520, caliber: 82mm and 77mm, length: 295cm, weight 617kg, ammunition: 1.5kg iron ball.

The Calibres de France ("French calibers") was a system of standardization of cannons in France, established by King Francis I of France from about 1525.[1] The objective was to simplify and codify cannonry, in order to facilitate production.[1] On 26 September 1526, Francis I wrote about the artillerye de mon calibre ("Artillery of my caliber"), and an even earlier mention is known from 1512.[1] The Calibres de France were formalized in an ordinance of 1552.[2]

A Fauconneau, which was to become the smallest of the Calibres de France. Bronze, French manufacture, 1510. Caliber: 32mm, length: 106cm, weight: 25kg, ammunition: iron ball.

Six standard sizes were defined: the cannon (Canon), the "grand" culverin (Grande couleuvrine), the "bastard" culverin (Couleuvrine bâtarde), the "middle" culverin (Couleuvrine moyenne), the Falconet (Faucon), and the falconeer (Fauconneau).[1]

The system was expanded by an ordinance dated 27 November 1572, and an edict dates December 1601.[1]

The 6-guns Calibres de France system was still in place at the time of Louis XIII, which was later developed to an 18-guns system.[3]

The system was phased out with the Keller system in 1666, and the De Vallière system on 7 October 1732.[3]

Other models


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